I just wanted to say that one of the most endearing things I’ve seen in a while is an article I just saw in the seasonal magazine from the University of Zürich.
Well I think it’s seasonal. I just received it, but it says “#04/12”. Makes sense this way.
Switzerland is a country with 4 languages, of which German is the largest proportion. But among the German speaking cantons, there are several different accents and dialects. Züritüütsch is probably the more understandable to anyone with some knowledge of German, but general consensus agrees that Wallis (in French ‘Valais’) has the absolute worst, most incomprehensible, and strangest form of Swiss-German.
So one article here is a comparison and response article, titled “Ach, du bist Walliser. Das heisst Sina, Freyinger und Fendant!” with a response under “Stimmts? Ein Walliser atwortet.” The first article seems, from a casual glance, to suggest that Walliser students should try to fit in more, rather than just hang out together and stick to Walliser things like Fendant, Cholera (a Walliser pastry, not the disease) and so on.
The first part of the article is written in Hochdeutsch, more or less. The response is, however, written in Wallisertüütsch. There is no technical written form of Swiss German, but people write it anyway because German pronunciation of its alphabet and phonetics is quite consistent and standardized.
The second begins with:
Ja, ich bi en Walliser und seg mer ja nit Grüezi. Denn di Grüezinji sid ier da, wa nördisch va de Alpe läbet. Es tüet scho weh, wenn mo am Sunntagabond schich ine volle Zug richtig üsserschwiiz quätscht und z Land wa Fendant und Raclette fliesst, hiner schich laht. Da, wa Chircha und Staat no Hand in Hand gehnt, wo di Vetterlji-Wirtschaft no nit va der Korruption verdrängt wordo isch und wa immer d Sunna schiint.
I will award a million cool points to any non-Swiss person who can translate that well.